Quarterbacks or Hounds?
By Ellie Wu
As Gainsight continues to assert their leadership in this space, their VP of Customer Success (Allison Pickens) opened up the proverbial kimono and shared the "New Post-Sales Structure: Reorganizing the Team to Drive Customer Success".
It was great to see these guiding principles and it would be nice if all organizations were "powering the customer success movement" above all else...but,
How much of this can I realistically replicate if I'm not Gainsight?
Here were some of my favorite takeaways:
Stop having your CSMs be the kind of quarterback that is more like a hound chasing after all the other departments. Instead, invest the time to understand dependencies and then align team goals/incentives (across the company) towards the desired results and actions. This will, at minimum, eliminate the many frustrating redundancies.
Track meaningful outcomes, not activities. How do you determine what this looks like for your customers? Allison has a great post about this and the objectives around designing their Risk Management. This piece ties into the next point on CS Ops as well as principle 3 above on ensuring autonomy. Incorporate your CSM's observations and ideas.
At 5 CSMs, you should already be building out your Customer Success Operations Here are some ideas of what that might look like and how you build the case for ROI. A strong CS Ops can help track the actions/outcomes from above and provide a common view of risks to all departments touching the customer.
Kudos to the Gainsight team for putting this out there and I look forward to speaking with more CX folks at the Customer Experience Meetup hosted at the Gainsight HQ.